You're obviously very familiar with slavery/slave research, even if you're not actively doing it at this time. I apologize for what seems to be my moving off the topic of this thread; it certainly was not my intention. I will make every attempt to censor myself after this.
I'm just trying to make sure we're on the same page about this paternity bit and sharecropper tenancy, which is not really the same as "paying my relatives/parents rent because we didn't have a lot of money".
Being a sharecropper/farmer was no different than being a lawyer, doctor, grocer, etc. i.e. it was a job, their profession so to speak, they had to pay rent for space, farm land, medical office, etc. just like renting a space in a building today.
As you know, slaves were property, just like furniture, beds, dishes, cars, etc. It is a rare case, if it shows a slaveholder "giving" their slaves away to members outside their family. And when it did happen, it was usually to secure a debt, or in cases where the slaves were used as collateral to secure more material things like a new gin, mule, horse, wagon, build a home, etc.
Most large planters rented out their slaves to small farmers; usually short-term, on occasion long-term. And in cases like this, slaves families, were only temporarily separated from one another, depending on how far the other location was.
To "give away or loose" his slaves outside his family would put his entire family's welfare in jeopardy. How would he pay his bills, eat, make purchases, etc. without his free slave labor?
You'd be surprised, (I take that back, no you won't) how many slaveholders economic status decreased dramatically after slavery was abolished. Some of them ended up living right next door to their former slaves, in shot-gun shacks. Prior to emancipation, many slaveholders lived in fine, well built, colonial homes.
Remember, most of the wealth (financial & material) that slaveholders had prior to the Civil War was taken or destroyed by the Yankees, and in a lot of cases, taking their food, animals, etc. and RELEASING the Confederate slaveholders slaves by order of President Lincoln.
I even read about former slaves who actually had to provide assistance for former slaveholders and their family members because the slaveholder had lost everything he had. Obviously, in these cases, the former slave and former slaveholder mostly likely had good relations.
Slaves were passed down as inhertiances, dowers, gifts, etc. no different than you or I passing down things to our children, grandchildren. I don't think you or I would leave our homes, money, property, etc. to strangers. No, we'd pass those things down just like our g-g-g-grandparents pass down what they had to their descendants.
Most parents who make out wills usually indicate that they want their property to be distributed equally among the heirs i.e. "share and share alike" clauses. That's exactly what William Copeland, Sr. did with his slaves, he distributed them equally amongst his children who just happened to be living in various localities, that's why the slave families he owned became separated.
I know that doesn't mean he didn't father any children with his female slaves, but he didn't distribute his slaves to his children for the sole purpose of keeping any illegitimate children in his family.
It was in his best financial interest to have his slaves in his family. He was doing what any smart father and businessman would do; he was keeping his MONEY (slaves) close by. They were his, and his family's financial security, regardless whether or not he fathered slave children.
Interestingly, William Copeland, Sr., made out 2 wills, if he did father children with any of his female slaves, he certainly didn't mention them in his will, nor did his father. There is no mention of leaving property or money to any "East Indian" slaves, indentured servants, or FPOC, as this person states. Property inherited, purchased, gifted has to be recorded. No record of any such thing.
As far as being of Melungeon origins, neither do he or his father list any "East Indians, Turks, Moors, Portuguese etc. on their slave inventories or schedules. Slaveholders took note of their slaves racial backgrounds, the slaves country, state of birth.
Slaves were inspected before purchased, slaveholders certainly knew more about their slaves than census takers who only showed up, what every 10 years. And even in the case of absentee slaveholders, they had managers and overseers to tend to their slaves.
I agree, DNA test are helpful for proving paternity. But sometimes, all one needs to know, is how to do simple math. The person that made those "mis-guided" assertions on that post, somehow have not come to that point in their research, or blatantly overlooked those key facts.
Thank you for encouraging me to be open to the other possibilities. You're a very patient person who provides really useful insights. I like the way you present "the other side" of things. It gives me another perspective on the issue. By the way, I hope I'm not being too forward, but I've been meaning to ask you if you teach genealogy or history, or along those lines?
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